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Cava Wine Region

Taking a Closer Look at the Cava Sparkling Wines

Several people are curious to know about Cava. They wonder whether they are same as Champagne.

Some people even say that Cava can be interchangeably called as Champagne. Now, it’s your time to take a closer look at the Cava wines.

What are Cava Wines? In simple terms, these are the iconic Champagne-style sparkling wines from Spain.

This is a DO status wine and most of these wines are being produced in the Catalonia wine region.

Wine grape varieties

I would say that these are Iberian Peninsula’s reply to the world-famous Champagne.

Here, let’s see everything about these Spanish wines….

What is Cava?

It is to be understood that the name has not come from a wine region in Spain. Also, it does not represent any particular grape variety or even a winemaking technique.

The name has originally come from the stone cellars, which are called as cavas.

These stone cellars are being used for the wines to get matured. You might be wondering how these Cava wines are related to Champagne.

Well, the Cava wines in Spain were modeled after the French Champagne wines and they are produced using the Champagne Method.

However, the term ‘Méthode Champenoise’ can be used only by the winemakers in Champagne region. Therefore, in Spain, it is referred as the Método Tradicional (Traditional Method).

How are Cava distinguished from Champagne?

The Cava style wines in Spain were first produced in the 1870s by Josep Raventós. During the first century of existence, these wines were known by the name Champaña.

It was during the year 1970, the official D.O.

Cava was created for covering the exclusive sparkling white, as well as rosé wines. Right from the adoption of the name, the Cava winemakers have struggled to set these wines apart from Champagne.

Likewise, these wines don’t bear higher price tags. Moreover, Cava wines are truly Spanish. These wines are using traditional and indigenous grapes as their primary varieties.

From where do we get Cava Wines?

Although the Cava wines are originally produced in Catalonia wine region especially in the town of San Sadurní de Noya the present day Cava are produced in different parts of the country.

Following are some of the regions which have been qualified for the Cava DO:

  • Aragon
  • Navarra
  • Rioja
  • Pais Vasco
  • Valencia
  • Extremadura

In reality, only 10% of Cava wines are coming from these places. Therefore, we can say that the heart of Cava winemaking is still lying in the San Sadurní de Noya of Catalonia.

Here, all the areas are sharing similar climatic conditions. The Mediterranean climate along with moderate amount of rainfall is very much favoring the Cava wine production in this town.

Most of the vineyards in this region can be found at the height of 200 to 300 meters.

Grape Varieties Used in Cava

As mentioned above, the traditional grape varieties are found to be playing a major role in Cava wine production. They are:

  • Macabeo
  • Parellada
  • Xarel-lo

Of these, Macabeo would make up almost half of the standard blend. In the Cava wines, the slight earthy flavors are mainly due to the Xarel-lo grape variety.

In addition to the above-mentioned varieties, some other grape varieties are also used in the Cava wines. They are:

  • Chardonnay
  • Pinot Noir
  • Monastrell
  • Grenache
  • Malvasia
  • Trepat
  • Subirat

Production Method and Classification

All the Cava wines must be subjected to aging for a minimum of 9 months and must contain an alcohol level of 10% to 13%.

As they are coming in various levels of sweetness, Cava wines are classified as follows:

  • Brut Nature
  • Extra Brut
  • Brut
  • Extra Seco (Extra Dry)
  • Seco (Dry)
  • Semi-Seco (Semi-Dry)
  • Dulce (Sweet)
Alcohol and Distilleries

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Tharani Rajamanickam

Tharani Rajamanickam


I am Tharani, I have Bachelors degree in Biotechnology. I am passionate about the wine industry and continue to explore, learn and share and I bring in a wealth of knowledge and expertise to help you keep updated with best wines in the world. Stay tuned..

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